Like any first time parents, Reina and Javier, are getting used to their new jobs as mum and dad.
The pair of Humboldt penguins has been “diligently caring” for a now month-old male chick at the Calgary Zoo. The tiny penguin, still unnamed, hatched on June 26 and is “thriving in his new habitat,” according to its keepers. This is a first for the zoo among its Humboldt penguins and the new addition to its penguin exhibit was only announced this week.
“Chicks stay in their burrows close to their parents for the first month and there is very little opportunity to see them,” the zoo posted on Facebook. “That along with waiting to make sure the chick is healthy and is bonding with its parents is why we wait to share the news.”
The zoo,which is home to a number of penguin species, is buoyed by its growing brood in the Penguin Plunge exhibit. (The zoo hatched its first Gentoo penguin in 2013.)
“This hatch is a significant boost for our captive Humboldt population,” Dr. Malu Celli the zoo’s curator said in a statement. “When these kinds of births occur it assures us we are getting one step closer to helping save important species.”
The breeding initiative is part of a species survival plan. Humboldt penguins are listed as vulnerable according the International Union For Conservation of Nature.
Congratulations poured in from zoo-goers and other facilities, including the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
“Congrats Calgary – great job!” it posted to Facebook.
Photo Calgary Zoo